Nearly 10 years ago, Rachel Corrie was killed after being crushed by a bulldozer that she was trying to stop from entering the Gaza Strip. In the years since, Corrie’s parents have been going through the legal channel and hold the military accountable for the events leading to their daughter’s death. They are now awaiting a judge’s ruling.
The case of Rachel Corrie has drawn national attention and is the first civilian trial stemming from the death of a foreigner at the hands of Israel’s military. All other related cases have resulted in settlements out of court.
Rachel Corrie was an American student studying at Evergreen State College. She was also an active pro-Palestinian activist who was involved in numerous rallies denouncing Israel over its treatment of the Palestinian people. In March of 2003, she was killed when she was crushed by a bulldozer that she believed was about to demolish homes belonging to the Palestinian people in the town of Rafah. According to the driver, he did not see Corrie and the incident was ruled an accident.
At the time, bulldozers were being sent to destroy homes that were being used as the point to carry out sniper fire and mortar attacks on Israeli soldiers and Jewish civilians.
Since her death, Corrie has become the image for the Palestinian people and to support pro-Palestinain demonstrations. To her supporters, she became an iconic symbol of the way non-violent protesters are treated. For supporters of Israel, she was a reckless young woman who put her own life at stake by interfering with the military in a conflict zone.
Corrie’s parents have spent nearly $200,000 in their own savings to attend hearings and gather witnesses. They are seeking reparation against the driver of the bulldozer and his superiors as well as compensation for the money they spent to get the case this far.
UPDATED: Haifa District Court Judge Oded Gershon on August 28 handed down his verdict: the State of Israel and the Defense Ministry were not responsible for Rachel Corrie’s death.
For a different perspective of this case please read the following article at the Nation.